What plates formed the East African Rift Valley?

The East African Rift Valley, as the region is known, formed where the Somalian and Nubian plates are pulling away from the Arabian Plate. The eastern branch of the rift passes through Ethiopia and Kenya, and the western branch forms a giant arc from Uganda to Malawi.

What plates make up the East African Rift?

Throughout the East African Rift, the continent of Africa is splitting in two. The African plate, sometimes called the Nubian plate, carries most of the continent, while the smaller Somali plate carries Horn of Africa. The two major rift valley systems of the East African Rift are the Gregory Rift and the Western Rift.

What plates are involved in the African rift valley?

The African plate, sometimes called the Nubian plate, carries most of the continent, while the smaller Somali plate carries Horn of Africa. The two major rift valley systems of the East African Rift are the Gregory Rift and the Western Rift.

What causes the East African Rift?

The East African Rift is one of the great tectonic features of Africa, caused by fracturing of the Earth’s crust. … The Somalian plate—which is moving away in the other direction—lies to the other side and includes the Horn of Africa. (Note that the image is oriented so that north is to the lower left.)

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What is happening at the East African Rift Valley?

Large crack in East African Rift is evidence of continent splitting in two. A large crack, stretching several kilometers, made a sudden appearance recently in south-western Kenya. The tear, which continues to grow, caused part of the Nairobi-Narok highway to collapse and was accompanied by seismic activity in the area.

Are Saudi Arabia and Africa moving apart?

The Red Sea rifting began in the Eocene, but the separation of Africa and Arabia occurred approximately 25 million years ago in the Oligocene, and since then the Arabian Plate has been slowly moving toward the Eurasian Plate.

Is the African continent splitting apart?

Scientists say a new ocean will form in Africa as the continent continues to split into two. … It is an active continental rift that began millions of years ago, splitting at 7mm annually.

What is the importance of Rift Valley?

The rift valleys are enormous fractures affecting the continental plates that widen progressively with time: they represent the first stages in the complex process of extension and rupture of continents and anticipate the development of new oceanic basins between them.

How fast is Africa splitting apart?

The three plates are separating at different speeds. The Arabian plate is moving away from Africa at a rate of about 1 inch per year, while the two African plates are separating even slower, between half an inch to 0.2 inches per year, according to Macdonald.

Why do rift valleys have volcanoes?

Rift volcanoes form when magma rises into the gap between diverging plates. They thus occur at or near actual plate boundaries. … Earthquake swarms and volcanic eruptions occur when the stretching exceeds the strength of the near-surface rocks, which then fracture along steeply dipping cracks parallel to the rift.

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